|There's a sleeping boy under there somewhere!|
Give me an “S”, give me an “L”, give me an “E”, give me another “E”, give me a “P”. What’s that spell? SLEEP! Now, let me sleep!
Sleep is an interesting topic at our house and the subject continues to make it into newspapers, television shows, and other types of media. Seems others want to talk about sleep, too.
For the first time, I’m hearing and learning things about sleep that I didn’t know such as getting enough sleep can combat aging, boost your immune system, and reduce the probability of obesity. All things I want and all I have to do it get some shut eye!
When the husband I first started dating, we were both in our mid-thirties and I warned him with “I’m a high maintenance sleeper.” He needed more information to wrap his head around what that meant. I need a fan for “white noise”, low room temperatures, two pillows, and specific blanket textures of optimum sleep. It’s funny because he now needs all of those things plus an extra pillow. Who’s high maintenance now?
When the boy arrived, we got him hooked on “white noise”—the fan—as soon as we could. He now enjoys all the same sleep comforts that we do.
Then, there’s how much sleep and bedtimes. When I was growing up, I never had or needed a bedtime. Oh, I’m sure I had a bedtime at first, but 9:00 pm is about my limit and most of the time my head hits the pillowcase well before. 8 hours is my sleep preference though I am capable of sleeping up to 10 hours.
Then, there’s the boy. As he has gotten older, his bedtime has gradually been pushed back. Our neighbors used to make fun of us as the boy headed into the house at 6:30 pm for “bubbles”—a reference to bath time. Now, unless there is some change in the schedule to a specific activity, he’s in the shower between 8:00 and 8:30 pm and in bed shortly after. Sometimes the husband tucks each of us into our respective beds around the same time—leaving the house free for him to enjoy.
What we’ve learned is that sleep begets sleep. When the boy goes to bed earlier, he actually sleeps longer. I then read a research study about children and sleep and that kiddos who hit the hay after 9:00 pm actually take longer to fall asleep and then sleep less.
There’s also some research about varying bedtime and wake-up times by more than an hour can have an impact on your heart health and natural Arcadian rhythms. This is why during school breaks we try to keep the bedtimes (and routines) the same.
Then, we take a vacation. Oh, the bedtime routine stays the same, but bedtimes are a thing of the past. On our last cruise the boy was closing down The Edge—the tween club on the ship—and returning at 1:00 am. I was not awake to greet him! Or, when we are at Walt Disney World and stay at Magic Kingdom through Wishes, which can be at 9:00 or 10:00 pm depending on the season you travel. I can say that only the husband has taken advantage of PM Extra Magic Hours. And given that Walt Disney World is on Eastern Time—it does give us the advantage. EPCOT’s Illuminations is at 9:00 pm nightly (which is 8:00 pm Central) making not so big of a fluctuation in bedtimes. But now we are going to try the West Coast—a 2 hour time difference and only in our favor in the morning. Oh, my. I can always sleep when we get home!